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Agricultural Payments and Land Concentration: A Semiparametric Spatial Regression Analysis


  • Michael J. Roberts
  • Nigel Key


Over the last twenty years, both crop production and agricultural payments have shifted toward larger operations. This study examines whether payments from federal farm programs contributed to increased concentration of cropland and farmland. Using zip code—level data constructed from the microfiles of the 1987–2002 agriculture censuses we examine the association between government payments per acre and subsequent growth in land concentration. A semiparametric generalized additive model (GAM) controls for location and historical concentration, sales per acre, and ratio of cropland area to zip code area. Findings indicate, both with and without nonparametric controls, government payments are strongly associated with subsequent concentration growth. Copyright 2008, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Roberts & Nigel Key, 2008. "Agricultural Payments and Land Concentration: A Semiparametric Spatial Regression Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 627-643.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:90:y:2008:i:3:p:627-643

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberts, Michael J. & Key, Nigel D., 2008. "Did the Baby Boom Cause the Farm-Size Boom?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6087, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Oda, M. & Umetsu, C. & Shen, J., 2018. "The impacts of regional differences on farmland consolidation in Japan: The case of Tohoku, Hokuriku and Kinki," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277389, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Shuaizhang Feng & Michael Oppenheimer & Wolfram Schlenker, 2012. "Climate Change, Crop Yields, and Internal Migration in the United States," NBER Working Papers 17734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    5. Zier, Patrick, 2013. "Econometric impact assessment of the Common Agricultural Policy in East German agriculture," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 71, number 71, 09-2019.
    6. He, Xi, 2018. "Bigger Farms and Bigger Food Firms-The Agricultural Origin of Industrial Concentration in the Food Sector," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274206, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Arimoto, Yutaka & Lee, Changmin, 2014. "Did Japanese direct investment in Korea suppress indigenous industrialization in the 1930s? : evidence from country-level factory entry patterns," IDE Discussion Papers 450, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    8. MacDonald, James M. & Korb, Penni & Hoppe, Robert A., 2013. "Farm Size and the Organization of U.S. Crop Farming," Economic Research Report 262221, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    9. Legrand D. F, Saint-Cyr, 2017. "Farm heterogeneity and agricultural policy impacts on size dynamics: evidence from France," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 17-04, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    10. Daniel A. Sumner, 2014. "American Farms Keep Growing: Size, Productivity, and Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 147-166, Winter.
    11. Moro, Daniele & Sckokai, Paolo, 2013. "The impact of decoupled payments on farm choices: Conceptual and methodological challenges," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 28-38.
    12. repec:ags:jlaare:267610 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Zier, Patrick & Petrick, Martin, 2010. "Cap Reform And The Effects Of Direct Payments On Heterogeneous Farm Structures In East Germany," 50th Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 29-October 1, 2010 93948, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).

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